Brian Elwin Haner, Jr. (born July 7, 1981), better known by his stage name Synyster Gates or simply Syn, is an American musician, best known for being the lead guitarist of the band Avenged Sevenfold. He has appeared with many different styles of his custom Schecter guitars, however he tends to use his black with silver pinstripes. Synyster Gates ranked at #87 in Guitar World's "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".
1 Early life,
2 Avenged Sevenfold,
3 Pinkly Smooth,
4.1 With Avenged Sevenfold,
4.2 Featured guest appearances,
6 Amplifiers and effects unit
6.2 Other Equipment,
He studied at the Musicians Institute in Los Angeles, California, as part of the Guitar Institute of Music program, studying jazz and classical guitar. After a year or so of being there, he got a call from The Rev asking him if he wanted to "join his band", as lead guitarist. Haner joined rather than continuing his education to become a studio producer. Up until that time he was primarily self-taught by watching videos and reading books. His father, Brian Haner/Brian Haner, Sr., also known as "Guitar Guy," is a songwriter, guitarist and comedian. Gates is of Spanish and German ancestry.
He was featured on the EP Warmness on the Soul which contains select songs from the first album as well as Synyster's new version of "To End The Rapture". His name on Avenged Sevenfold's debut album was "Synyster Gates".
On the Avenged Sevenfold DVD All Excess, Syn claimed that his name was created on a drunken drive through the park with The Rev.
Synyster Gates has won eight awards. He won the Dimebag Darrell "young shredder award" in the 2006 "Golden God Awards" run by Metal Hammer. In 2006, Synyster Gates was named guitarist of the year by Total Guitar Magazine. Gates was voted Sexiest Male in the 2008 Kerrang Readers Poll. In 2010, Guitar World Listed Synyster Gates as one of the 30 greatest shredders of all time. They described him as being able to perform finger-twisting licks, acrobatic sweeps, devilish chromatics and towering dual-harmonies. Synyster was chosen as one of Guitar Hero's 50 fastest guitarists. On Guitar World's 2010 Readers Poll, Synyster Gates was chosen Snappiest Dresser and the Best Metal Guitarist. Rock One Magazine's 2010 Readers Poll voted Gates the #3 best musician in the industry. On April 20, 2011, Haner won the Revolver Golden God award for Best Guitarist along with band mate, Zacky Vengeance. Avenged Sevenfold picked up numerous other awards and delivered the headlining performance of the night. In the Special Edition of Revolver magazine that was released the same day as the Nightmare album, Synyster Gates stated that he originally started out writing the song "So Far Away" in honor of his grandfather. However, the song is now primarily about Syn's former band mate, The Rev, who died in December 2009.
Haner, along with The Rev, played in a heavy metal band named Pinkly Smooth. Formed in the summer of 2001 in Huntington Beach, California, the band featured ex-Ballistico members Buck Silverspur on bass and D-Rock on drums. The band has released one album, Unfortunate Snort on Bucktan Records, which features a crossover sound of mostly punk, ska and Progressive metal.
Former Avenged Sevenfold bassist Justin Sane played keyboards and piano on the album. There was speculation that Pinkly Smooth was going to produce another record, but due to the death of The Rev, it is highly unlikely that they will produce any more material. However, Brian has said that he would consider remastering the tracks from Unfortunate Snort and re-releasing the album.